thank. full.

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite. For many years we had an abundance of people over to imbibe except last year I was a giant pregnant lady so I waddled over to my neighbor's house instead. This year we are off to Minneapolis to visit my rents. We actually leave in like eight hours and my stuff is still strewn all about. And here I sit famously procrastinating the packing and kissing my animals goodbye. In my adult life I have actually missed more planes than I can count on one hand.

Can't wait for my mom's specialties including but not limited to 12-hour marinated green beans, shrimp cocktail, stuffing with apples, pie oh pie and, of course, turkey. And just regular ole good times with all us chickens together in a warm house with bug's giggles and a few cocktails to keep us entertained.

So much to be thankful for right now. And I start to think of a list that includes things like my camera and computer and lipstick and my town and my job and gorgeous mountains sprinkled with snow this morning...but it all just whittles down to my family, friends and animals. I am especially grateful for the little human my man and I created, born last December, who just brings me so much joy I could bust right open.

An online magazine whose editors apparently read my stuff asked me to contribute to a little What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving? thingy. So click here to read my witty answer.

I am also thankful for this forum where I get to write things and throw it out there on the interweb. So, thank you for reading. Wishing you a day full of love and good food.


wooooooooo! garlic in the ground, yo.

I did it. And it may not seem like that big of a deal to those who don't pay attention to my boring, constant and unsuccessful attempt at the seemingly simple task of planting a cute clove in a tiny trench.

But, as a Gardener, I have not felt up to the title. Until last weekend when I dug that tiny trench for those cute cloves. aha.

Garlic. The fundamental beginning of a soup. The essential addition to the saute. The perfect cold remedy. Garlic. If we have another kid, perhaps her name will be Garlic. What could be a better inspiration for a name than a plant that wards off vampires, cures a variety of diseases and tastes so dang good one is willing to sacrifice offensive odor output for hours? Right.

So I have talked frequently at my inability to do this thing I have wanted to do. It was even a resolution this year (and about that list, the only thing I didn't do was run that marathon and I really wish I had been up to that but, hell...And number eight is a work in progress. Like for the next several decades).

The fall is always just *poof* and then the soil resembles the ice chunk on my windshield. Like, it doesn't yield to a shovel. And the lovely and alluring thing about garlic is that it must be planted in the fall. It needs those freezing months nestled with the frozen worms beneath two inches of goat poop and soil snug under two inches of straw to emerge in the spring with daffodils.

I planted Chesnok Red from Hood River Garlic, a hardneck variety originating from Shvelisi, Republic of Georgia. The description included this sentence that stroked my Aquarian heart: It has an ideal bulb form and a smooth white skin with stripes of purple amethyst.

On that garlic-planting day, Sam also ventured outside for the first time in a while due to a tiny scratch that led to a giant hole that led to an even more giant vet bill. We have had him for seven years and his nickname is gold nugget due to his vet needs. My multi-thousand dollar bubba.


hello spokane.

I went the Western Montana Fundraiser's Association lunch yesterday and the subject of the economic climate and its impact on non-profit organizations was addressed by nearly every speaker. The key note said something like so you don't get your Starbucks and you don't buy that blouse but you still give to organizations that affect positive change because that really matters. And then one award recipient said nah uh, sister. You always buy your coffee and you buy two blouses and give one to a friend. And then you give a gift to that organization. We are going to get out of this mess and it will all be okay so now isn't the time to cut back and stifle the economy even more. I think somewhere in the middle is appropriate. I mean who wears blouses?

After the impossibly heartening election of Barack Obama a few Tuesdays ago, some girlfriends and I decided to make a trip to the big city of Spokane to stimulate the economy by visiting some American Landmarks like the Nordstrom Rack and Banana Republic. We didn't shop locally but we dined and rested locally.

We also handed out $15 to a nice person in the name of Obama and told him to pass the gesture on. Our little version of pay-it-forward over the purchase of high heels.

I am thoughtful about how the wall street main street talk affects my family over here on tenth street. My man is an electrician and he relies on people taking out loans and doing remodels and new construction. He is also an artist who relies on people to make that could-be-argued-as-unnecessary purchase. I am the development director for a non-profit museum and I rely on people who are moved by the amazing work we do and ultimately write a check to ensure its vibrance and service.

So, it affects all of us. But I have always believed in the whole woo woo you make your own realityness that Andy refutes while balancing our checkbook.

We all pick how we spend our time and money. And I think right now people are realizing that walking an extra block to support a local coffee shop that supports the local art museum is really really important. So if this fanny freddy fugly crisis is forcing people to walk instead of drive, grow their own food, turn off the lights when not in use, wear their socks a little bit longer, be more strategic about charitable giving and carpool to Spokane to stay in a hotel and eat dinner while cultivating friendship over candlelit cocktails, then hooray. It is about time. Those are good priorities. We do make our own reality and whatever struggle blows my way will eventually blow away and I'll learn from it.

And, check out my new shoes.


oh happy day

I am moved by the election of Barack Obama in a way that is totally new to me. I have been spontaneously crying since Tuesday night. It doesn't take much...even just the slightest nice human display makes me feel patriotic. Patriotic. I'm taking it back. The flag never should have become specific to one party anyway.

Thank you for your incredibly thoughtful and moving stories about why you voted and what you experienced on election day. They, of course, made me cry.

My election day story is rainy and full. I got up early with heart pounding fast like on Christmas morning for a six year old. I performed my usual kid, dog, cats, getting-ready-for-work shuffle with a new clip. Then bug and I walked the two blocks in misty, early morning hopefulness to our polling place. I stood in a short line and exchanged thin, slightly weary but optimistic smiles with my neighbors.

My booth was barely big enough for me, bug and my ballot. I was carrying her on my front so she was looking up at me all smiles and giggles as I darkened my ovals. I was voter number 111. I decided that was lucky.

I went to the museum and tried to work but the entire staff was moving about like hummingbirds with msnbc streaming on one coworker's computer. At noon I left to canvass with a friend in a tiny strip of numbered streets between East Missoula and Bonner. The air was wet and cold. We walked and knocked and left reminders to vote by 8pm. After four hours, we headed back into town for a beer.

It had felt good to move and make the effort. I get it. That is what Obama is about. He makes people want to move and make an effort. It isn't about his being the first African American president. That is amazing and important, but for me it is about his ideas and ability to mobilize and motivate. I desperately love the thought of my once-apathetic country giving a shit. Yes, We Can. It's perfect.

I went home and was all twitchy and wound up so I went for a run. The porter in my belly slowed me a bit but Alice and I trotted through the dark, rain soaked streets and thought about how different everything would be in a few short hours. I was present and strong.

Once home we listened to NPR on top volume on every radio in our house, eventually turning on our fuzzy tv to watch the states turn red and blue. I about had cardic arrest when I thought Montana was going blue. And, then it was announced. Obama is the 44th president elect. Andy and I just started laughing. We opened champagne and watched and listened. With renewed confidence in the system we call democracy. With renewed confidence in my decision to have a kid.

I really wish I could send each of you a jar and maybe next year I'll be productive enough to do it! But I had to pick one...And the winner? Finny! What's your pleasure? Plum, apricot or peach butter?

:: :: ::

Also, it'd be swell if you voted for my site on Divine Caroline (I am a home and food award nominee). I could win cash! And if I do, I promise another giveaway.


today. oh. (and a giveaway)

Dear Americans,

Well now, this election is definitely really important as evidenced by the hoards of people standing in line for 5-11 hours. Let's hope there isn't any fraudulent activity or I might just lose all hope at a fair election.


Today I write on my blog to tell you to get off yer keester and make a choice; I am especially writing to those of you who I don't know who have emailed me or linked to me and aren't planning to vote. Because, well, I think that stinks.

I understand the two party system isn't great. I understand politicians don't always insist on honesty. I understand you are pissed off. But, today one of two people will be elected to lead the country we live in for four to eight years. They will make decisions that affect you and people you love.


If you vote, leave a comment telling me why or some other voting or election-related story and I'll pick a winner who will receive a canned item that I made with my very own hands. You can pick apricot butter or plum butter. I will announce the winner on Friday, November 7.

Yours in Change,

dig this chick
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